Coop Drama: Part One

April 24, 2013 § 4 Comments

IMG957317-1-1-1

If we were being accurate, this should probably be called Coop Drama: Part 2,395,698.  It never ends.

First up, please take a moment to admire the newly summer-ized coop.

Before (winter coop):

imag2441-11

After (summer coop):

photo

We left some of the wood on there to keep the inside, namely the food area, dry during storms.  So far so good.

Now. For about 2 months we had really solid egg production again.  We were even getting some MONSTERS.

IMG_20130424_135706eggs from 3 weeks ago

Then, gradually, the soft and really thin shells started coming again.  Like, so thin you’d reach in to pick the egg up and it would collapse in your hand.  And while the chickens weren’t actively eating the eggs regularly, when they fell and broke they were starting to again.

Our chickens sleep this way:

IMG_20130424_082508Butts out.

This is problematic for the eating-your-own-egg issue, because they jump down and the egg is right there for them, buffet style.

So, attempt #1: build a ramp to place under their butts, slanting down towards the back of the coop, so that when the chickens lay from the perch the egg rolls down where they aren’t really visible and or readily available for eating.  Simple.

So we built a ramp.  Next step: padding for the ramp.  We went looking for plastic nesting pads, as seen here:

2011-11-21-07

These are nice because you can hose them down (for all the turds) and chickens eat EVERYTHING…but they can’t really peck this type of plastic off of the ground (like they can, and will, with astroturf or other types of fake grass).

Unfortunately, for some bizarre reason, you can’t find this anywhere in Lexington.  Lowe’s, Southern States, Home Depot, the local farming store…nowhere.  Have to order it online.  What?  We live in KENTUCKY.  Add it to the list.

Anyway, Paul found the next best option the he thought the chickens wouldn’t eat: some sort of dried grass/hay like padding.   So we padded the ramp…

photo

…placed it inside…

photo (3)

…tested it…

IMG953704_2

…and voila!  Beautiful, padded, egg-drop safe ramp…that the chickens promptly went in and destroyed.  They used their massive talons and totally tore up the padding.  The first egg that landed on it broke and didn’t go anywhere.

Attempt #1: Fail.

Back to the drawing board.

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